One of the best parts of being a TV fan is picking sides -- whether they're romantic, political, societal or sporting, choosing a team and rooting wholeheartedly is just one reason why television is such an addictive medium.
The great thing about G.C.B. is that the writers are invested in making every member of the ensemble a fully-fleshed out character, worthy of love and hate, so your loyalties keep shifting with every new episode. An apt occurrence since the women's loyalties are ever-changing as well. After last week's episode, I'm totally on Team Cricket as we learned she's an LGBT-friendly woman, who is much less selfish than previously thought.
To find out what to expect tonight, I caught up with actress Miriam Shor and learned what attracted her to the role, what she makes of this thoroughly modern marriage and why a new arrival in town has her smiling from ear to ear.
Insider.com: This strikes me as the kind of show where you actors just have big ol' Cheshire cat grins every day.
Miriam Shor: Exactly. And then have to floss the scenery out of our teeth. I'm having so much fun and loving every second of it.
Insider: What was it about the pilot script that made G.C.B. jump out at you?
Miriam: When you're an actor you have to look at what you would be doing … because you're selfish and narrow-minded [laughs]. But for me, I've never played a part like this. I love the world they live in. It's very foreign to me and it's so exciting to play someone who is so different from who I am. From the minute I read it, I said, "I have to play this woman." And for some crazy reason, they concurred [laughs].
Insider: While Amanda and Carlene are "the leads," this is very much an ensemble show. Was there any point when you considered playing any of the other characters?
Miriam: Honestly, just reading it, Cricket seemed like the one I was supposed to play. All the women are amazing, but she was always the one for me from the get-go. For me, I know I really like a character when I start playing her accidentally while reading the script. And that's what kept happening with me. Also, Cricket Caruth-Reilly … really? I mean, really? That name? Come on.
Insider: Last week's episode ended with a moment I didn't see coming -- the reveal that Cricket is fully aware and totally supportive of her husband's gay lifestyle. What did you like about that choice?
Miriam: That's one of the most exciting things about this character for me as an actor, because I haven't seen that explored on television before. You've seen sexual secrets being kept but you've never seen this kind of relationship explored on TV. It's a relationship that exists in the real world – it's a complicated one and therefore an interesting one. Plus, it's the smarter, more interesting, more complicated way to go.
Insider: All actors create backstories for their characters to fill in their pre-pilot lives. For you, what was it about Cricket's past that made her sign up for this kind of life with Blake?
Miriam: Love is very powerful and multi-dimensional. It's not just one thing. We go a little bit into the fact she's the daughter of this powerful man who would have rather had a son. So she's never really had a very trusting, loving relationship with men. But from the moment you meet Blake, everybody loves him. He's got secrets like the rest of us but he's a genuinely loving human being, which is why everyone loves him. Blake might actually be the only character in the entire show who tries to take everyone at face value and love them for who they are. And that's powerful to someone like Cricket, who doesn't often let people in. It's got to be lonely in this world she’s created for herself where she's got to be the most powerful all the time and in control all the time. So to let that guard down around Blake is the most precious thing in her world, which is why Amanda's friendship with Blake is so threatening to Cricket.
Insider.com: And from the way you play her, it doesn't seem like Cricket harbors any delusion that Blake is going to turn around one day and say, "I was wrong -- I'm straight and I love you."
Miriam: No. Not at all – but that doesn’t mean she can’t be jealous. What she values most in him is that friendship. Blake is Cricket's family, and that's what matters most to her This is not the relationship most people set out to find, but they've made it work. It creates its own problems and struggles, but to them it's worth it. And I can certainly understand it.
Insider: Not only did I love the reveal, but also that big old bed they share.
Miriam: Isn't that the greatest thing in the whole world?!? It was even better because that scene was so beautiful – I love the writing and the pacing and the intimacy which ends with that great moment. It's so brilliant -- and in the future, we spend a nice amount of time in that bed, so it's great because I live in New York City and there isn't an apartment big enough for that bed!
Insider: Looking ahead, what are you excited for fans to see?
Miriam: Well, in tonight's episode, we meet the new pastor, who I just think is the bees knees. He's now with us for the rest of the series and gets thrown into this world with these crazy women, and does a great job. It's a fun episode also because I get to work with Mark Deklin. I think the great thing about tonight's episode is you see the men a little bit more – they're fantastic and not just to look at ... which they are. But they're really, really talented. I'm excited when they get to show off.
Insider: Do we also get to explore this interesting relationship between Carlene and Cricket? I love it because it's like they're best friends but also one another's biggest rival.
Miriam: Absolutely. I think they need each other but resent each other, but they love each other yet they can't stand each other – I think it's been that way since they were kids too. On some level, all these women are one another's family, and that's the lovely thing about friendships: it is familial so it has the ups and downs you have in a family. The jealousies and angers run deep, but so does the love that's always kind of there.
G.C.B. airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
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- Miriam Shor